Philippines Humanitarian

Rhealyn Iya Mae de Leon (center, back row) is 11 years old and a 4th grade student. She wants to become an English teacher. She is shown here with her grandmother, her mother, and her two younger siblings

Rhealyn Iya Mae de Leon (center, back row) is 11 years old and a 4th grade student. She wants to become an English teacher. She is shown here with her grandmother, her mother, and her two younger siblings

Philippines Humanitarian (PH), an all-volunteer, certified non-profit organization, was brought together by the common desire of private citizens to provide educational scholarships and opportunities for disadvantaged children and their families in impoverished areas of the Philippines. One important component of the scholarship program with Philippines Humanitarian is that many of the scholars come back after graduating to volunteer the foundation. In fact, the current librarian/caretaker of the community library was once a scholar of the foundation.

The Jewish Helping Hands grant money will be used towards helping children in the Payatas Community. Extreme poverty, crime, drugs, poor sanitation, and precarious employment are the primary community concerns. A distinguishing feature of the area is the Payatas Dumpsite,
the largest open dumpsite in the Philippines. Most of the Payatas residents earn a living either as garbage scavengers, construction workers, or drivers. In 2000, a massive trash-slide triggered by heavy rains buried thousands of homes and took many lives.

The students who go to Payatas Elementary School live in the area immediately surrounding the Payatas dumpsite and come from very poor families. While education is free in the Philippines, many students lack the money for school-related expenses. Jewish Helping Hands is awarding a grant of $5,000 to sponsor 5 children over the course of 5 years ($200 per child per year). The money these children receive will enable them to purchase uniforms, books, school supplies, and shoes.